ISRO to send up new communication satellite in 2010

ISRO is also likely to open the New Year with the launch of Resourcesat-2, an earth observation satellite.First to escape the earth's gravity sometime between Dec 10 and 15 will be ISRO's heavy rocket called the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) carrying GSAT-5P to replace the ageing INSAT 2E launched in 1999.

"The 2,300-kg satellite with 36 transponders will provide continuity of service to our telecom and television channel customers," S. Satish, ISRO's director (publications and public relations), told IANS.

Satish said a small snag that was detected earlier in one of the GSLV rocket's sub-systems has been set right.Though ISRO is aiming to send its remote sensing/earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2 before this year on its lighter rocket polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), officials do not discount the possibility of a launch early next year.

Piggy-backing on it will be two small satellites made in Singapore and Russia.Remote sensing satellites send back earth pictures and other data for use. India is a major player in vending such data in the global market.

"Resourcesat-2 will be the replacement for Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003. For some time, both will work together," Satish added.

ISRO this year launched two major satellites - communication satellite GSAT-4 and remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2. While the launch of GSAT-4 failed as the GSLV rocket carrying it plunged into the sea due to engine failure, Cartosat-2 was placed successfully in the orbit.

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